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Ubisoft seeks movie licenses

Looks to repeat Kong success.

Software publisher Ubisoft has announced its intention to create more games based on movie licences following the success of its King Kong tie-in, which narrowly missed the coveted Christmas number one spot in 2005.

In a recent interview with trade magazine MCV, Ubisoft president and CEO Yves Guillemot said that the company intends to generate a quarter of its revenues from movie licenses in the future, leveraging the technical power of next-generation hardware to create the most authentic and exciting film tie-ins.

"We want to get 25% of our turnover coming from movie licensed games. We have a few things on the way that can help us to continue to do business in this segment of the market," Guillemot stated.

Ubisoft published the official game of Peter Jackson's King Kong in December, and the multi-platform title saw substantial pre-Christmas sales during a wide-spread slump in overall videogames sales.

EA's Need for Speed: Most Wanted claimed the top spot in the charts. However, as a result of the way in which sales are recorded and the fact that Christmas day 2005 fell on a Sunday, King Kong became number one just days after Christmas and continues to enjoy positive sales success across all formats.

"We're really happy with our experience with King Kong. It helps when you're creating a game to have the huge marketing power of the film behind it. It gives a lot more power to the game we create," Guillemot said.

The publisher recently announced a worldwide licensing deal with 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Group to develop videogames based on the forthcoming CGI movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In addition to its movie license expansion plans, Guillemot claims the publisher is planning to create at least three new brands each year, stating: "We have to select market segments that are interesting. We see where we can beat our competitors and we try to create new brands that are only now possible thanks to the capabilities of new hardware."

The company's ambitions extend to possible developer acquisitions, and Guillemot has hinted that an announcement could follow in the first half of the year.

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